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In Wallace Stevens' Experimental Language, Beverly Maeder uses an innovative rhetorical and philosophical approach to examine Stevens' linguistic exploration. She studies in detail both well-known and neglected, more cryptic poems, in which Stevens plays with the disruptive development of metaphor, the ostentatious positioning of prepositions and prefixes, and the ruthless use of copular verbs. Maeder argues that these strategies allow Stevens' more radical poems to lay bare the artifice of the English language. Like Stevens' own work, this book is neither systematic nor exhaustive but intriguingly experimental.
Taking their cue from the polymorphous relationship between word and image, the essays of this book explore how different media translate the world of phenomena into aesthetic, intellectual or sensual experience. They embrace the media of poetry, fiction, drama, engraving, painting, photography, film and advertising posters ranging from the early modern to the postmodern periods. At the heart of the volume lie essays on works that characteristically perform intriguing interactions between the verbal and visual modes. They discuss the manifold ways in which artists as different as William Blake or Gertrude Stein, Diane Arbus or Stanley Kubrick heighten the tension between the linguistic and the seen. Taken both individually and collectively, this volume's contributions illuminate the problematics of how readers and spectators/lookers transform verbal and visual representation into worlds of seeming.